Anxiety attack heart problems are any problems related to the cardiovascular system of your body that are caused by anxiety or panic attacks. Due to the very nature of a panic attack, it is not surprising that anxiety attack heart problems are among the leading causes of heart attacks or other cardiovascular issues among North Americans today. This is not to say that an anxiety or panic attack does not have a heavy effect on other systems of the body as well, but it’s effect on the heart and blood flow is easily measured and quite noticeably dangerous.
A panic attack is a sudden onset of fear or other terror that causes frightening symptoms that can paralyze a person in the mood of the moment. Many people report the notion of being “frozen by fear” and an anxiety attack definitely resembles that to a large degree. Patients discuss shaking, trembling, chills, numbness in extremities, heart palpitations, and trouble breathing among other things that are caused by the great difficulty of a panic attack.
Anxiety attack heart problems are common because of the close association stress has with other heart problems. Anxiety can accompany any heart disease or cardiac condition that causes a drop in blood pressure because of this close relationship in systems and bodily functions. This, in fact, causes a sudden decrease in cardiac output, which is the amount of blood being pumped by the heart. Anxiety is also closely related to (but not the cause of) a condition called mitral valve prolapse or MVP.
Panic attacks generate a common human response to danger: the “fight or flight” response. This was said to evolve from early human types that either fled danger or took it on if they could. Fight or flight generates a lot of biological processes because of the energy the body needs to perform either task. The heart races, the blood quickens, the eyes function differently, senses are heightened, and other parts of the body begin to react in other ways such as muscles tightening, etc.
Anxiety attack heart difficulties can arise from the heart being told to work too fast by the brain, which is in charge of the “fight or flight” mechanism. At this point, the body often decides to simply shut down because it’s easier on the systems involved. For this reason, the heart once again runs the virtual gamut of both beating faster and beating slower; calming the body down and slowing blood flow one moment and then speeding the body up and creating more blood flow the next minute.